New LoDo Restaurant Brings European Decadence to Denver with LeRoux

Chef Lon Symensma has made quite a name for himself in Denver as a master of modern Asian cuisine with restaurants like Cholon and Cho77. As such, people might be surprised to hear that the focus of his next restaurant, LeRoux is entirely European. But European gastronomy is by no means outside his wheelhouse, for the first 11 years of chef Symensma’s career (he has been at it since he was 14), he cooked entirely European, working in restaurants across France and Spain.

New LoDo Restaurant Brings European Decadence to Denver with LeRoux

LeRoux Captures the Essence of Chef Lon Symensma's Culinary Journey

“Even if you’re not familiar with the term “mille-feuille,” you’ve probably eaten the French pastry. The phrase means “thousand-leaf,” which accurately describes the paper-thin layers of puff pastry that go into Napoleons and other labor-intensive desserts. Now imagine standing over a prep counter all day cutting mushrooms into equally fine slices, stacking them in a terrine and baking the terrine until the mushrooms form an almost solid loaf that’s sliced and served as an appetizer. Each layer comes apart to provide an intensely flavored bite of nothing but king trumpet mushroom, butter and salt.
That’s the kind of effort that goes into nearly every dish at LeRoux, chef Lon Symensma’s new French/European restaurant that opens tomorrow, December 28, next door to ChoLon, the chef’s eight-year-old, Asian-inspired eatery on the 16th Street Mall.”

LeRoux Captures the Essence of Chef Lon Symensma’s Culinary Journey

In the Kitchen with Lon Symensma

“Lon Symensma is a busy man these days. This past month alone, Symensma played musical restaurants, shuffling the three-year-old Cho77 out of its Broadway digs and replacing it with south-of-the-border restaurant, BorraCho Tacos. But worry not Cho77 fans—the street Asian food concept will soon reside next to its sister restaurant, ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro, later this winter. Speaking of ChoLon, the LoDo restaurant marked eight years in business this past October, celebrating with an all-out bash replete with endless bites and libations.”

In the Kitchen with Lon Symensma

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“In 2010, following a lucrative cooking career in New York City, Iowa native Lon Symensma arrived in Denver. His mission? Open ChoLon, a restaurant that symbolized the foods he’d experienced during his numerous eating expeditions throughout Southeast Asia and China. By his own admission, it took some time for ChoLon to resonate with Denver diners, but Symensma, idolized for his signature soup dumplings, poetic plate artistry, and fearless flavor combinations, persevered, eventually making ChoLon one of the most sought-after reservations in the city. Along with ChoLon, Symensma owns Cho77, a captivating lyric to the street foods of Southeast Asia. His latest venture, Concourse, is now open in the Eastbridge Town Center Stapleton development and he plans to open a casual Asian concept in Avanti later this summer. As for additional future projects, Symensma’s head is spinning with concepts: “I want to do a Mediterranean restaurant that follows the same idea as ChoLon, but instead of Southeast Asia, I want this to represent Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Northern Africa. I’ve also got a Latin concept in the works that focuses on Central and South American cooking, and I’m planning on doing an elevated Middle Eastern concept.””

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